Director's Corner: Next Witness to History Event: “Washington DC's Air Florida Crash"
|An example of the helicopter rescue efforts following the crash.
The next event in the National Law Enforcement Museum’s Witness to History lecture series is scheduled for February 2 in Las Vegas. It will feature San Antonio Police Chief William P. McManus, a patrol sergeant for the Metropolitan (DC) Police Department when Air Florida Flight 90 crashed into the Potomac River after hitting Washington, DC’s 14th Street Bridge on January 13, 1982.
Witness to History is designed to shed light on rich and compelling events in law enforcement history, told by those who lived them. The first two events were held on June 6, 2011 and September 9, 2011 in Washington, DC.
With 2012 marking the 30th anniversary of the Air Florida Flight 90 airplane crash that killed 78 individuals, Chief McManus’ eyewitness insight will remind some listeners of law enforcement’s rescue efforts under treacherous circumstances and will help others untangle confusion about what really happened that day. One critical element in rescuing the only five crash survivors from the icy river water was the helicopter, Eagle 1, operated by pilot Donald W. Usher, accompanied by paramedic Melvin E. Windsor. Working with the National Park Service and the U.S. Park Police, the Museum hopes to be fortunate enough to showcase Eagle 1 prominently near the Museum’s entry staircase when it opens in late 2013.
This priceless artifact will help teach Museum visitors about the event, especially law enforcement and rescue personnel’s pivotal roles in saving lives and restoring order from utter chaos. Thrilled by the prospect of the Museum acquiring Eagle 1, Chief McManus said, "I am grateful that the National Law Enforcement Museum will preserve the incredible story of law enforcement's response to the Air Florida crash for future generations."
In addition to his contributions to the Air Florida crash rescue and recovery efforts, Chief McManus has encountered—and expertly handled—many taxing and foreboding conditions during his nearly four decades of policing. Visit the Museum website in February for a recap of what is sure to be a fascinating event.
Comings & Goings
The Museum staff regretfully bid farewell this month to Joy Veenstra, who has been the Collections Management Intern since January 2011. In one short year, Joy very ably helped manage the collections of the Museum and also assisted with National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund events such as National Police Week and the 2011 Gala. Joy’s excellent work is deeply appreciated, and we wish her the very best as she pursues her future career plans.
are fortunate and delighted, however, to welcome Sarah Haggerty to the
permanent Museum staff. Sarah also joined us last January as a
Collections Intern, and in September, she developed the J. Edgar Hoover
temporary exhibit for the Nov. 2011 red-carpet premiere of Clint
Eastwood’s film J. Edgar at the Newseum in Washington, DC,
which was subsequently installed in the Memorial Fund’s administrative
offices. In January, Sarah became the Associate Curator and will be
assisting with the development of the Museum’s core and changing
(L to R) School Program Specialist Becky Fulcher, former Collections Management Intern Joy Veenstra, and Associate Curator Sarah Haggerty share a celebratory lunch.
we extend a warm welcome to Lisa Holmstead, a graduate student in the
online museum studies program at Johns Hopkins University who begins her
Collections Management Internship this month. Lisa will be working with
the Museum artifact collections to help catalog, research, and preserve
more than 15,000 objects that tell the story of American law